Boston Bruins

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his game winning goal in overtime against the Washington Capitals in Game Two of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on May 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.The Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t hold back when it came to the performance of his top six in Saturday’s Game 1.

It wasn’t an outright hammering from Cassidy, but it was a pointed message all the same: They didn’t find their gear. They didn’t do enough. Especially against a third-string goaltender who came into Game 1 cold, and in what was just his fifth appearance of the 2021 season, and with the Bruins in a favorable spot when it came to seizing home-ice advantage from the Capitals. It was, by The Cassidy Scale, a gentle-but-firm way of letting ’em know that he expected more.

And based on a thrilling Game 2, extended into an extra frame by a late-game Taylor Hall equalizer and ended by the quickest playoff overtime goal in franchise history (off Brad Marchand’s stick), it was message received.

“The guys that have been here understood the urgency of this game,” Cassidy said after Game 2. “Listen, we had to play better. We had to play better. We did. Obviously, getting the win is very important. But for ourselves, we needed to play a better hockey game [and] I thought we were the better team tonight. We’re full value for the win. And those guys led; Bergeron, Marchand, and Charlie [McAvoy] really got going too.”

This was about as complete an effort from those guys as you could’ve asked for, too.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.